Protestors shut down A4e Edinburgh office

Protesters against compulsory “work-for-your-benefits” schemes succeeded in shutting down A4e’s Edinburgh office on Wednesday 16th June.  A4e cancelled all appointments and stuck up a notice declaring their Earl Grey Street office closed for the whole day, as demonstrators gathered outside.

No to Welfare Abolition - UK Day of Action - June 16th

It's our money, it's our future, it's under attack.


This is multi-millionaire Emma Harrison (right), owner of A4e, the UK's most prominent private agency involved in "Welfare to Work" (having to work for your benefits.)

We want to let her and her pals in government know that welfare is a right and should not have to be earned. People not in waged work contribute a lot to their communities. Single parents are already working and deserve a decent wage. People are more than just cash generators.

While the sick, the disabled, single parents, the unemployed and other people who need support face cuts in services and the prospect of being made to work for their benefits...


"Welfare to Work" effects us all, waged or unwaged. Low income, temporary and insecure jobs will be replaced by "work for your benefits". Privatisation of the Department of Work and Pensions role, e.g. bringing in profit-hungry firms such as A4e, is an attack on DWP/JobcentrePlus workers and our rights to access welfare. Here in Edinburgh for example A4e have refused to allow people to be accompanied to interviews, a right everyone has when visiting the DWP and Jobcentres.

Join us on Wednesday June 16th at 11 am outside the Edinburgh office of A4e at 34 Earl Grey St. (Lothian Road) to demand justice for the unwaged and an end to the forced labour of "welfare to work".

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty c/o ACE 17 West Montgomery Place EH7 5HA, 0131 5576242, email;,

Debt Worries?

Debt worries? don't have to stand alone! If you are receiving paltry pay packets or feeble benefits yet still struggling to pay outrageous council tax demands or simply trying to afford a decent home and stuff to put in it you're probably in debt.

If we allow it to a burden of debt can grind us down, keep us awake at night, make life miserable. Daily bombardments of final demands, threatening letters and menacing phone calls leave us feeling anxious and isolated. It's time to realise that the Sheriff's Officers are not as scary as they'd like us to think.

We have recently revised and updated our information on resisting debt enforcement.  The purpose of this article is to offer support, encouragement and advice to anyone who finds themselves up against Sheriff's Officers. Lessons learnt over a decade ago during the anti-poll tax struggle show that armed with a blend of sound information, solidarity and a strong nerve we can leave the snoops and bullies chasing shadows and pleading for pennies.

If you feel it's all getting too much the solution is simple - solidarity!  For the facts on how resist sheriff officers and debt collectors, click here 

“I want justice!” – worker demands unpaid wages from Tradebase

“I want to be paid for what I’ve done, I want justice. I’ve done my job, I should be paid,” Jean Philippe insisted to Judge Jane Porter at the Edinburgh Employment Tribunal on 11 December. He is claiming £468 in unpaid wages owed to him by Leeds-based firm Tradebase.

 But on 17 December Judge Porter dismissed Jean Philippe’s claim, ruling that as an Agency worker Jean Philippe was not covered by the Employment Rights Act 1996.

 Jean Philippe and Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty have vowed to continue the battle against this “disgraceful decision”, which highlights the general denial of rights to Agency workers.
“We are applying for a review of the decision, and failing that will appeal to the Employment Appeals Tribunal, “ said Robert Duncan of ECAP. “We have already organised a protest at an earlier Tribunal hearing, and may well need to take stronger action to win this fight for justice.”
Jean Philippe was employed by construction industry agency Tradebase to work at the Rutland Hotel in Edinburgh. He worked for 37 hours from 2nd - 5th July 2008 for the Sheffield firm SW Interiors, which should have earned him £468.


Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty supports the workers in the Cleansing Department and other Council manual workers who are fighting the attempts by the City of Edinburgh Council to cut their wages and impose changes in their conditions.  Here is the latest news in this struggle which affects everyone in the city, and beyond.

Street cleaners have hit out at Council leaders’ claims that they are “set to give up their protest” in the long-running dispute over wages and conditions.

“It’s absolute nonsense.  There’s no truth in it at all,“ a Council street cleaner said.  “Everybody I spoke to today at work was of the same opinion.”

“The vast majority of manual workers will not be going back until the wages are re-paid to the binmen whose wages have been docked.”

The Council claimed that a “formal agreement” has been put to the street cleaners.  But a street cleaner stated: “The only letter we have had through the door from the Council is one stating that our wages are being cut to between £12,000 and £14,000.”


"Support Jean Philippe to get the wages he's owed. Come along to the Employment Tribunal to show Tradebase they can't get away with treating their workers like dirt."   Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty are organising a protest at Edinburgh's Employment Tribunal on Thursday 3rd September.

The protest is from 1pm till 2pm on Thursday 3rd September, outside the Employment Tribunal , 54 - 56 Melville Street, Edinburgh EH3 7HF (near Shandwick Place, just after the West End of Princes Street).

The Tribunal hearing starts at 2pm approximately, and is open to the public.

High Riggs Hi-Jinks

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty have published the first issue of high riggs hi-jinks, a news-sheet which talks about the reality of life at High Riggs Job Centre - and encourages people to fight back.

If enough of us come together to support each other, we can change what happens at the Job Centre, and stop them treating us unfairly - we invite you to join the ECAP solidarity network.  The news-sheet describes some victories we have already won by standing up for ourselves.

Articles in  high riggs hi-jinks include

* An exposure of fraud by New Deal company A4E

* A first hand account of making an official complaint at High Riggs

* How to deal with dole snoopers

* An open letter to DWP workers

Click on the attachment at the foot of this article to read the news-sheet.

We encourage people to print out copies to distribute (or pick up copies from ACE), and to contribute to the news-sheet:  e mail your story to

Harassed by Fraud Investigators?

If you're being harassed by ”fraud” squad bullies from the Department of Work and Pensions – don't stand for it.... 

Don't panic...
Don't speak to them alone...
Don't let them into your house...
Don't sign anything without first getting advice...
Get in touch with Edinburgh Claimants and ECAP at our tuesday advice session
If benefits snoopers turn up at your door, don't let them in and don't speak to them – they have no legal power to force entry to your home
Never talk to them on your own – always take a friend or adviser with you to any interview
Don't allow them to tape-record any interview
Never sign anything without first getting advice from an experienced adviser
Don't stop your claim without first getting advice from an experienced adviser
Make an official complaint if you are being harassed

A4E and WorkDirections invaded! Action against the Welfare Reform Bill

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty protested at High Riggs Job Centre on 13 March against the new Welfare Reform Bill. We condemn the legislation, currently under consideration by the Westminster Parliament, as “an attack on the poor”. Around 15 protestors later invaded the Edinburgh offices of A4E and Work Directions, displaying placards calling on people to resist the Bill.

Council Tax resisters beseige Council

Anti Council Tax resisters beseiged Edinburgh City Chambers today 5th February after the Council barred members of the public from the public gallery during the full City of Edinburgh Council meeting. Police eventually moved in to manhandle demonstrators out of the Chambers entrance. "The Council are acting like tinpot dictators - but we wont be intimidated," say Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty.

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